In person networking is ABSOLUTELY the sweet spot of the other Marketing and Media Monster, Rebekah. She hosts in person networking events all over the Denver, and heck, the Colorado area!
I have to admit something now, I really only network when I am speaking so I am NOT a great one for growing one-on-one relationships, nurturing them at weekly networking sessions and then reaping the rewards of a solid foundation that knows, likes and trusts me. I tend to bob across the surface, meeting a bunch of people many different times rather than going deep and knowing a handfull of people really well. While you can argue with me about the effectiveness of my methods in comparison with doing “real networking”, what I do have is a great window into how people look and sound when attending networking events. How they present themselves and their business, what message a virtual stranger gets when they walk in the door.
With this in mind, here are my top in person networking, “don’t be that guy” suggestions!
The Guy Who Always Argues – I was speaking the other day about Pinterest and one guy who I had met briefly once before raised his hand and said something like, “don’t you know if you post to Pinterest you will get sued for copyright infringement?”, basically trying to make a room full of people scared to use Pinterest. Merits of the national and global copyright laws aside, being henny-penny, the sky is falling rarely looks good. Then I remembered he had done this the last time I spoke too….raising his hand and explaining why marketing was unnecessary for his business and basically shooting down everything I had to say.
how not to be that guy….if you are at an event and want to talk to a speaker about a certain topic that worries you, pull them aside afterward and discuss it…also, people talk about things I don’t agree with all the time, I don’t try to argue or change their opinion, I try to follow the “if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut” model!
The Lady With All The Problems – Sitting a couple seats down was a woman who seemed very motivated to grow her business. She was working on her postcards and I thought, dang she is going to be a great lunch companion, until….she must have had about 5 things wrong with her. She mentioned having had a tumor, having weird eating habits for her health because she had been so sick, having a special needs child, and a couple of more that seemed equally horrifying.
how not to be that gal….when you are first meeting people, their impression of you will be based on what you are talking about…make sure that you stay positive and on track with your business message…leave the personal stuff to talking with your friends or at least until people have gotten to know you better!
The Guy Who Talks To Long – If you are at a networking event, you can generally tell how long people have to talk about their business (usually between a minute and 30 seconds). I kid you not, at most events I go to, there is someone who goes on and on, blowing past the time and spending too much time talking about what they are selling for at least 5 minutes. Because it is not my group, I don’t care that much, but I have to assume they do that every time they get the opportunity.
how to not be that guy…there are times you get the opportunity to showcase your business for 5 or 10 minutes at most groups I attend…sign up for that and get with a coach who can help you craft a powerful 30 second and one minute message that make people WANT to listen to you…vow to never drone on and on again
how to not be that guy (part two)…I have to step in here and also say that no one cares about your business…they only care about themselves and what you can do to help them! in most groups there is a financial guy, a realtor, a send out cards lady, a legal shield gal, a doctor, a lawyer, etc…talking about how you are different will not make them remember you, telling them something that will help them from your industry will!
The Lady Who Does A One-On-One And Only Talks About Herself – This one is from a friend as I rarely do the one-on-ones (this is mainly why!). This lady basically gave her 5 minutes to talk about herself and her business (after professing a real interest) and proceeded to give a 20 minute canned presentation about why she should use her product. This is a real bait and switch in my mind.
how to not be that gal..first off, always be honest…that whole thing could have gone differently if framed as a sales appointment…AND if you are doing a meet and greet or one-on-one, make sure you are giving the other person the time to talk about themselves…a good rule is to use your head (one mouth, two ears…talk half as much as you listen!) Well there are my top observations from the field…if you see yourself in any of these, stop right now and fix it.
There are many people who can help you craft a message that sells without being salsey (like us)…want to find out more? Give us a call today!!! 727-415-9165